Installing Without Video Card

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Mon Nov 10 03:27:43 PST 2003

On Sun, Nov 09, 2003 at 04:55:52PM -0800, Rishi Chopra wrote:
> Is there a way to install FreeBSD without a video card?  Can I somehow 
> install the OS over ethernet without having a video card and monitor 
> hooked up?
> Please email me at rchopra at if you can think of a way...

Depends on the Motherboard/Bios -- some won't start to boot up unless
there's some sort of video display.  Plus generally you need a local
video adapter in order to configure Bios settings.  However, given
that your system can get over that important initial hump, then it's
perfectly feasible to install and run the system via a serial console.

Note that a "serial console" is typically another computer connected
serial-port to serial-port via a null-modem cable.  You run tip(1) or
some other terminal emulation software on the other machine which
makes the first machine's console accessible from a login session.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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